Here she is in all her glory:
Well, Friday night, she hopped up to ask me to take her out, and I saw that, on her right-front leg, just above the "wrist" joint, she'd developed a lump about the size of a mouse ball. (Computer, not rodent.)
Saturday morning, she was at the vet's office, and he immediately told me, "That's not a fatty lump or a hematoma; it's not one of the good guys." So this morning, I'll be late for work, because I'll be dropping Mandy off at the vet to have it removed and shipped off to a pathologist, to discover what it is, and whether there's more beyond that to do.
I'm terribly worried about my baby girl. It's one of the times I wish she could understand English. She was adopted from an Animal Shelter at the age of five, given up by a family that was moving to a place they couldn't have a dog. So she lived for five years with a family, and then one day they drove her to a place with kennels and crates and other dogs, and they petted her, and no doubt told her they loved her, and drove away... And she never saw them again.
Now, today, I'll be driving her to a place with kennels and crates and other dogs, and I'll pet her and tell her I love her, and I'll drive away, and I wish with all I have that I could tell her that I'll be back to bring her hom as soon as I'm allowed to. But telling her that is beyond my -- beyond anyone's -- power. And that makes me want to cry.
I can and will do what it takes to get through the health issues with her. I'll spend the money, I'll put in the time, and if and when the time comes that the only thing left I can do for her is to put an end to the suffering, well, I can do that too. It will gut me, maybe kill me, but I can do it. I've done it before.
But I can't tell her that I'll be back in a day or so. I can't tell her that I'm not ever going to abandon her the way her old family did.
And it's tearing me up.
I'll let you guys know how things progress.